HomeCommunityChilders honours its own with Australia Day awards

Childers honours its own with Australia Day awards

Denise Rapkins at Bundaberg Library. Australia Day awards
Denise Rapkins at Bundaberg Library.

Five Childers residents have an extra special reason to remember Australia Day 2020 after receiving awards recognising their service to the local community.

The awards, run by the Childers Australia Day committee, honoured Childers librarian Denise Rapkins among the distinguished list of locals who was named the Childers and District Citizen of the Year.

Gloria Peters, who has been a resident in the Childers area for more than 50 years, was named senior citizen of the year with livewire young local Jack Leeson taking the junior citizen award.

Award winner Kerri Wills with Cr Trevor. Australia Day
Award winner Kerri Wills with Cr Bill Trevor.

Popular music teacher David Horner received the cultural award while dedicated primary school sports teacher Kerri Wills was named sportsperson of the year.

The awards were presented at an Australia Day celebration at the new Isis Memorial Swimming Pool with Deputy Mayor Cr Bill Trevor making the presentations.

Donna Duncan OAM, a former winner of the former Isis Shire Citizen of the Year award, said it was satisfying for those people who went above and beyond what is required in their daily lives to receive community recognition.

“People who volunteer their time and talents for the benefit of their local communities do not do it for accolades,” she said.

“However, receiving awards like this is some measure of the appreciation and respect in which they are held for the contributions they make.”

Cr Trevor said Denise Rapkins is a much-admired staff member at the Childers Library and through her innovative thinking and willingness to try new initiatives has opened up the library facilities to activities that have resonated with younger and older readers alike.

“Denise, who has been the local librarian for 12 years, is lauded for her work in encouraging younger readers into the world of literacy through programs like Read To Me Day,” he said.

“She was heavily involved in the program which captured the imagination of local schools and involved business operators in the main street of Childers.”

Cr Trevor said many themed events such as Science Week and Halloween constantly kept library activities at the forefront of the local community.

“Senior citizen Gloria Peters is much admired across the Childers community for her work ethic and willingness to immerse herself in whatever role she undertakes,” Cr Trevor said.

“In her nomination Gloria is described as a giver not a taker.

“From selling raffle tickets to putting in hours of rehearsal for community stage productions or simply transporting those unable to get to appointments, Gloria Peters is invariably ready to help.

“Young citizen Jack Leeson has been described as a future leader,” Cr Trevor said.

“His role as a firefighter with the local Rural Fire Brigade and his involvement with the SES and as a PCYC Emergency Services Cadet demonstrate the calibre of a young man with a passion to serve his community.

“It’s Jack’s role within community volunteer organisations that inspires other young people to follow his example.”

Award winner David Homer with Cr Trevor. Australia Day
Award winner David Homer with Cr Trevor.

Cr Trevor said it was commendable that members of the teaching profession in David Horner and Kerri Wills were recognised for their community involvement.

“It is no surprise that David should achieve a cultural award given the tremendous amount of time he injects into fostering music appreciation throughout the district,” he said.

“While Childers does not have a theatre dedicated to the performing arts it has been David’s ability to improvise that has resulted in the presentation of many successful musical events.

“Producing shows like ‘The Mikado’ and encouraging people of all ages to join the local Choral Society has provided pleasure and companionship for many as well as delighting audiences.”

“Likewise, Kerri’s love of sport transcends her responsibilities at a school level.

“Kerri chooses to be involved in organisations like Isis District Little Athletics at which she does a magnificent job as president.

“She is supportive and encouraging and nothing gives her more pleasure than seeing her Isis Tigers or North Burnett athletes competing and succeeding at representative level.”

Cr Trevor said Kerri also supported local competition with participation in netball and mountain bike riding clubs.